Tis the season for inclement weather, and the joys (read: headaches) that come with it! When it comes to blizzards, heavy rain, strong winds, hurricanes, etc. it’s important for your staff and business to be prepared with an action plan before the bad weather hits. We believe that the key to continued productivity during the excitement these storms bring is being prepared so that your employees can remain safe and your business can be minimally impacted. Here are some tips and strategies to ensure that your business is prepared for the storm.
Minimize business risk with these proactive measures now:
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. Do you have documentation in place? Is it up-to-date? Remember that these documents aren't just technology related- It's important to review these on a regular basis to ensure key roles and features are still in place. Has an office manager who played a key role in your plan left the company?
- Communication Strategy. If email is unavailable, how would you contact your employees to do roll-call and communicate your business continuity plan? Have you considered social media, a phone chain, WhatsApp or enterprise platforms to communicate? Having and communicating your strategy is vital for smooth operations when the office is inaccessible.
- Contact Information. Do your employees have access to key internal and external contact information in the case of an extended power outage at home or in the office? Keep in mind that no power, also means no phones for VoIP systems.
- Travel Disruption. We recommend briefing your team on travel plans during poor conditions. It is likely that employees may need to work from home. We highly advise these employees test remote access before the bad weather hits to report issues. Have you considered using Google maps to pinpoint carpool opportunities if mass transit is out?
Storms a brewin’! Take appropriate measure to ensure your staff remains productive and operations continue smoothly.
Before the storm arrives, we advise you complete the following action items:
- Backups: Backups are always a crucial part of business continuity/disaster recovery, but especially if there is a threat of power outages. Check with your service provider to ensure backups are up-to-date. At Lloyd, client backups are tested daily to verify data security. Any data stored on a workstation should be moved.
- Workstations: Employees should shut down or take devices home before leaving the office.
- Servers: Check with your IT team or service provider to see what their power down policies are during inclement weather. Lloyd will not power down servers unless absolutely necessary in an effort to maintain connectivity.
- Testing: Remote access should be tested prior to need. Be sure to test your ability to work remotely from home prior to any emergencies.
- Location: Whether at home or in the office, be sure all technology items are stored away in a location that is not prone to flooding or can be damaged from strong winds.
- Connectivity: Mi-Fi's are a great investment to stay online.
- Phones: Business numbers may be forwarded to mobile devices when the systems in use allow.
- Email Continuity: Lloyd clients use Proofpoint for email continuity. If email servers are unavailable, employees can log into a web based portal to temporarily send and receive email. It is important to make sure that employees have their log in credentials stored somewhere accessible.
Honorary Lloydian Oreo McGann braves the elements during a recent snow storm.
Being prepared in advance for any threatening weather can help eliminate technical hiccups and make your work more efficient while keeping your employees safe. Lloyd would be happy to talk further on creating a weather preparedness plan for your business! Please reach out to us to arrange a meeting and discuss your business’s future plans.